By Chris Rotolo, The Creator
At its inception, Toms River, NJ’s River City Extension was but one man with a rustic beard growing out of his face and an acoustic six-string strapped across his shoulder, hopping along the Boardwalk planks and down Cookman Avenue in and out of the various Asbury venues, captivating assemblages and growing his name, Joe Michelini. Today the front-man leads an eight-artist Folk-Punk collective that extended its reach well beyond the boundaries of our musical hub by the sea, and all the way to Bonnaroo’s 10th Anniversary festival last summer, on the back of its 2010 debut The Unmistakable Man.
In recent months, stripped down to its purest and singular form, Michelini has performed River City Extension’s forthcoming record, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Your Anger, in its entirety in a pair of intimate locations, Novemeber 25th at the BandsOnABudget gallery and this past Friday (February 10th) at The Press Room to a humble assemblage that witnessed the penman make a return to his Punk-riddled roots on “Our New Intelligence,” as well explore the politcally-minded Folk-Rock of the Cobra Skulls’ “Streets Of Cairo,” while running acoustic sketches of new numbers and old favorites, including a raucous rendition of “Something Salty Something Sweet” to close out the night.
The performance left many in awe and all eagerly awaiting more…and that day has arrived.
Yesterday evening, the outfit on the brink of etching its name into the Garden State’s musical history book next to the other boardwalk greats released an informational video about its sophomore full-length naming June 5th as the official release date…check it out:
Michelini and company also dropped the album’s lead single “There And Back Again,” an acoustic guitar-led composition which you can stream below:
Accompanying Michelini on Friday evening was Anchor & Hope Music-mates, and the creators of SIMGE’s favorite album of 2011, The Front Bottoms. The Indie-Punk duo performed a tidy five-song set that included such standouts from that self-titled debut full-length as “Swimming Pool,” “Flashlight,” and “Maps,” upon which myself and a pair of other patrons provided scatter shot crooner and acoustic guitar maestro Brian Sella with vocal accompaniment, drawing a sheepish grin from the front-man and stick wielder Matt Uychich, who tapped out the beats on a single snare drum while seated shoeless upon The Press Room platform, at points.
Check out “Flashlight” below: